THE government has pledged to support Kilimanjaro Marathon which reached a ten years mark over the weekend having been a major success in terms of raising the athletics bar, promoting the country as a tourist destination and giving young and upcoming athletes a perfect platform to launch their athletics careers at home since its inception in 2003.
The Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Minister, Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi applauded organizers and sponsors of the event who have spent billions of shillings over ten years, saying the government will always support them in their endeavour to promote athletics in the country.
He however called upon Athletics Tanzania (AT) to take necessary measures that will see Tanzanian athletes performing well in similar events next.
Since 2003, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Marathon has remained the only popular local athletics event on the calendar of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The marathon is fully accredited by IAAF and complies with their rules to the highest level including having timing capabilities that are as good as any other international marathon. The marathon has since its inception attracted tremendous media interest from across the world which has seen the event broadcasted across the African continent on DSTV’s SuperSport and other international news channels as well as in the local media.
This has put Tanzania on the world map and promoting the country as a tourist attraction destination. In addition, the marathon has given young and upcoming athletes a perfect platform to launch their athletics careers at home. He thanked Kilimanjaro Premium Lager for massive investment in sponsoring an event which has put Tanzania on the world map.
According to the Kilimanjaro Marathon Race Director, John Bayo, the anniversary race saw many positives to write home about including the competition record being broken which he said is an indication that the race is becoming more competitive as it grows bigger with participation numbers surpassing the previous year by far.
“We managed to attract over 6,000 runners from over 40 countries across the world …this compares very well with the number of athletes that participated in the event last year where we had 4,500 runners from 35 countries,” said Bayo.
The tenth Kilimanjaro Marathon saw the winner in the men’s full marathon David Kiprona, breaking the race’s four years record when he clocked 2:13:57, thus breaking the competition record set by Jumanne Tluway of Tanzania who in 2008 clocked 2:15:37 to break the record time of 2:16:15 which was kept by Lucian Hombo, during the launching of the marathon in 2003.
Earlier, the marathon winner, Kiprona, said hard work and continuous training was the secret behind his splendid performance and eventual triumph. “I participated in Kilimanjaro Marathon last year and managed to come tenth….Upon reaching home, I pondered on how to improve my performance….I then started training immediately and today, I have made it,” said Kiprona.
Organised by the South Africa and Tanzania based Wild Frontiers, Kilimanjaro Marathon is sponsored by Kilimanjaro Premium Lager. Other title sponsors include Vodacom Tanzania (5km Fun Run), GAPCO (21km Disabled Half Marathon) while co-sponsors are Simba Cement, TanzaniteOne, Keys Hotel, Precisionair, Kilimanjaro Water, TPC Sugar, Southern Sun, KK Security, Standard Chartered Bank and Tanzania Tourist Board.
The event is coordinated by Tanzania’s Executive Solutions in conjunction with Kilimanjaro Marathon Club while Athletics Tanzania and Kilimanjaro Amateur Athletics Association provide technical support as Keys Hotel provides logistical and operational support.
Source: Daily News - Tanzania Online news Article